This “elegiac tribute to the elusive art and ineffable pleasure of fly-fishing” (Kirkus Reviews) shows us why life’s most valuable lessons—and some of its best experiences—are found while fly-fishing.
For John Gierach, “the master of fly-fishing” (Sacramento Bee), fishing is always the answer—even when it’s not clear what the question is. In All Fishermen Are Liars, Gierach travels around North America seeking out quintessential fishing experiences, whether it’s at a busy stream or a secluded lake hidden amid snow-capped mountains. He talks about the art of fly-tying and the quest for the perfect steelhead fly (“The Nuclear Option”), about fishing in the Presidential Pools previously fished by the elder George Bush (“I wondered briefly if I’d done something karmically disastrous and was now fated to spend the rest of my life breathing the exhaust of this elderly Republican”), and the importance of traveling with like-minded companions when caught in a soaking rain (“At this point someone is required to say, ‘You know, there are people who wouldn’t think this is fun’”). And though Gierach loses some fish along the way, he never loses his passion and sense of humor.
Wry, contemplative, and lively—that is to say, pure Gierach—All Fishermen Are Liars is a joy to read—and, as always, the next best thing to fishing itself. “From the early days…to his present cult status, Gierach’s candor and canniness at the water’s edge have been consistent…His grizzled, laconic persona is engaging and the voice of the common angler” (The Wall Street Journal).